• Thursday Memo

    Posted by Susan Southard at 2/26/2015

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    What another great week here in the Pacific Northwest!!  It is hard to believe that we are approaching the first week of March.  It has often been said that the days are long but the years are short…  As I get older, I find this to be more and more true. 

    Last week, while I was doing a site visit at Olalla Elementary School, I had occasion to visit Stephanie Darragh’s second grade class.  Her second grade students were hard at work in their efforts to balance pencils on their tips. To accomplish this, they applied what they had learned about strategic placement of counterweights and balance points in order to accomplish this balancing feat using wire and clothespins. To say they were eager to meet this challenge would be an understatement! The cheers of "I did it!" rippling through the classroom were wonderful to hear.  I find it so inspiring that our second graders in this STEM program were contemplating scientific ‘big ideas’ that challenge scientists in the field.  Our future is in good hands.  Well done.

    Tonight’s Boundary Review Committee will be a busy one.  On the agenda, there will be a list of the eight draft boundary scenarios that have been presented thus far. The committee will be making recommendations regarding the open enrollment policy and procedure; whether or not to recommend a student assignment structure as it applies to boundaries; whether or not to consider grade configuration as part of their boundary recommendation, and if so, what grade configuration; and which, if any, of the draft boundary scenarios to eliminate.  Once these recommendations have been made, the committee will review and analyze the remaining scenarios within the context of maintaining them as they are; revising them, combining them, and/or creating new scenarios.  Based on the work accomplished this evening, the committee will determine if they will be ready to go on March 11 and 12 for the public forums or if they will need to reschedule them for one week later.  More to come on this important topic. 

    I want to note that this past week the Board reviewed the January financial report and we continue to look healthy at this time of the year as the budget is tracking well with projections.  I need to mention that this coming month we will be making our levy committed transfer to the capital fund from the general fund so that we can address the roofs and other capital projects scheduled for this summer.  At this time, our plan is to replace the roofs at Burley Glenwood, Hidden Creek, and Mullenix Ridge this summer.  As promised, I will continue to provide these monthly reports in my memo so that we can all track the budget progress throughout the year.  If you have questions on the interpretation of this chart, please do not hesitate to contact me.  As we now know how the current year budget is tracking, we will be continuing to evaluate additional supports necessary in the schools to maintain the high expectations we are all committed to for each of our students – no exceptions.  Our February enrollment report continues to trend better than budget and better than last year, in fact better than the last several years.  This is also a sign of stability for us as a district. 

    Recently, I have received several questions about the progress of various committees that have been meeting this year.  I want to remind each of you that there are multiple groups working collaboratively on topics ranging from strategic planning, assessment, professional development, innovative programs, the highly capable program, and curriculum topics.  The District Committee webpage is a resource for information on these topics.  As the school year progresses, the committees are getting close to making their recommendations.  One of the committees, the Highly Capable Program Task Force, is slated to make their recommendation to me on March 5.  Kris Christenberry, Assistant Principal at Marcus Whitman Junior High, has done an exemplary job in leading this Task Force of approximately thirty people.  I look forward to the recommendation and the discussion with the Task Force.  Answering the call to serve on these district committees is so appreciated by all of us.  At a time when we are all so busy, I want to express my gratitude to those willing to shoulder this challenging work so integral to our success as a district.  Our students are better for your efforts. 

    Finally, I received this from a staff member today.  This is a great girl / young woman engineering project for wearable technology from Pomona, CA. Happy Girl Day for Engineering Week! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlvWt7PKD4E&feature=youtu.be  I am so excited that we as a district are poised to have our young people successfully compete in this evolving world.  Innovative thinking and programming are at the heart of robust instructional experiences for our students. 

    Enjoy the last days of February.

    Warmest regards,

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 2/19/2015

    What another great week!!  We are so lucky that we have had the weather we have had in the last couple of weeks.  Our friends on the east coast indicate that they have been buried in snow with frigid cold the past couple of weeks.  I suspect that it has clearly been an east coast ground hog this year that predicted six more weeks of winter. 

    It is with great pride that I share a letter from Governor Inslee, commending our district as one of the top-performing districts in the state in terms of signups for the College Bound Scholarship program.  Our district, thanks to the tireless efforts of our junior high staff at all three junior high schools in the district, signed up more than 89% of the eligible candidates for this scholarship program.  This is definitely walking the talk of all children – no exceptions.   Well done!! 

    We will soon be accepting applications for the 2015-16 first grade Spanish Immersion program at Burley Glenwood Elementary.  The students in this year’s Spanish Immersion program will move on to the second grade Spanish Immersion program.  “Wherever we are, whatever our line of work, we are affected by nearly everything else that’s happening in the world….Society should be prepared to communicate and do business across international boundaries….Community, business and civic leaders increasingly will build relationships with counterparts in other nations.” Gary Marx, Sixteen Trends.   The following link from the Spanish Immersion Program by Minnetonka Public Schools http://vimeo.com/14073214 provides an informative look into what an immersion program entails and how one district in the country has captured the experience.  Central to the South Kitsap Spanish Immersion Program is the knowledge that we are preparing our students for a vastly different future and world than in the past and even the present. Creative, inquisitive and innovative thinking integrated with collaborative, communicative, compassionate and global minded attributes are the components of successful citizenship in the 21st Century. 

    At tonight’s Boundary Review Committee meeting, committee members will hear information from Jerry Holsten, Principal of South Kitsap High School, regarding the capacity of the high school to accommodate the space and the instructional needs of the ninth graders if a recommendation is made to move the ninth graders to the high school.  The committee will be presented with an eighth scenario that combines addressing the immediate need of balancing the elementary enrollment with the longer term look at grade reconfiguration.  This scenario will provide the committee with a sample of a scenario that is phased in over several years.  Following the presentations, the committee will begin work on reviewing, analyzing, and revising the scenarios that have been presented and creating additional scenarios based on the information they have received in their last four meetings. 

    At this week’s Board meeting, we primarily focused on capital project needs and a check-in on our current capital levy planning.  Mr. Tom O’Brien, our Director of Facilities and Operations provided a thorough review on the plans completed and those yet on the docket.  As a district, you can feel good about the fact that we are doing exactly what we said we were going to do, when last we went to our voters with our levy proposal.  This builds trust.  Given that we are a Policy Governance district; as a continuing part of my evaluation, the Board also reviewed Executive Limitations 9 (EL 9) and Executive Limitation 10 (EL 10) connected to the topics discussed that evening.  In addition, the Elton Goodwin Foundation made a presentation on improvements they are planning to make to the athletic facilities at South Kitsap High School.    

    Thank you to the many folks who took the time to share your thoughts on the Thoughtexchange platform as we had over 8,000 thoughts shared.  Beginning this past Monday, the second phase of this engagement process began.  You will be asked to “Star” those thoughts you deem most important. You will have the opportunity to read the unedited thoughts, both your own and a subset of other community members’ thoughts, assigning stars to the thoughts you like best. This is a very important part of our process as we will be winnowing down the brainstorm of thousands of ideas to those big ideas that will become central to our 2020 Plan. Even if you did not have an opportunity to participate in the thought sharing phase, you can still be part of the prioritization phase.   Thank you for your efforts. 

    Finally, a staff member shared the following video link: NEED TO KNOW | School of thought in Brockton, Mass. | PBS that I have found very provocative.  From the staff member;  “It is a great video on a high school in Brockton, MA.  It is very thought provoking in this season of testing.  Making a change that surpasses 'the test' and inspires long lasting change!”  Please take a moment and view it.  Rather or not you teach at the high school level, the premise is sound.  I know we are doing incredible work here in our district and also are facing new Common Core expectations.  I look forward to hearing what you think…

    Enjoy a great end of the week.

    Warmest regards,


    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 2/12/2015

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

    What a fantastic week we are having.  It is also great to look forward to a celebratory President’s Day weekend.  One of my favorite presidents is Theodore Roosevelt, who became the youngest President in American history at the age of 42 and memorably commented; “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

    In this spirit, the high school celebrated the mid-year graduation for students who persevered to reach their diplomas albeit a bit later than their peers.  I salute the many staff members and students who made this event possible.  It was a great celebration of the human spirit and the value of perseverance in action.  Well done !!

    The Boundary Review Committee met tonight. At the meeting, the following topics were discussed --

    • Addressing the issue of enrollment imbalance at the elementary level. Some of our schools are over capacity while others are under capacity.
    • Looking at possible grade level re-configuration as a strategy in meeting the needs of equitable student enrollment distribution scenarios
    • Looking at possible school closure scenarios as they support student enrollment and fiscal responsibility.

    The Committee received information on the educational rationale for looking at grade reconfiguration and examples of how other districts have reconfigured their grade levels were shared.  The Committee was presented with 4 straw design boundary change scenarios to which they will provide feedback.  At the February 19 meeting, the committee will review all seven options that have been presented; suggest revisions to these options, and submit new options for consideration. 

    It is great that the Kitsap Sun has featured another one of our fabulous teachers, Donna Hollon from South Colby.  Ms. Hollon regularly teaches and inspires third graders. We continue to be so blessed with the hard working and dedicated teachers in this great district.  At our most recent Board meeting, leadership students from Hidden Creek provided evidence supporting Ends 5.  They did an exemplary job of demonstrating their commitment to doing their best.  Our future is in capable hands.   Additionally, two staff members from East Port Orchard Elementary School received NIB awards, nominated by their principal, Mr. Paul Hulbert, for their quick thinking in a medical emergency involving one of the staff members at the school.  These nurses, Ms. Laurine Burrer and Ms. Jennifer Hogan, are to be commended for their professional action. 

    As we continue our strategic planning process, I had one of our staff members share the following TED talk.  In contemplating the importance of systems level planning, I think this link is interesting http://www.ted.com/talks/tom_wujec_got_a_wicked_problem_first_tell_me_how_you_make_toast .  We will be continuing our on-line strategic planning process in the coming weeks.  Thank you to the many folks who took the time to share your thoughts on the Thoughtexchange platform as we had over 8,000 thoughts shared.  Beginning on Monday, the second phase of this engagement process will commence.  You will be asked to “Star” those thoughts you deem most important. You will have the opportunity to read the unedited thoughts, both your own and a subset of other community members’ thoughts, assigning stars to the thoughts you like best. This is a very important part of our process as we will be winnowing down the brainstorm of thousands of ideas to those big ideas that will become central to our 2020 Plan. Even if you did not have an opportunity to participate in the thought sharing phase, you can still be part of the prioritization phase.   Thank you for your efforts.

    Congratulations to all the student athletes competing as the high school winter sports season is winding down.  A big shout out to the Girls’ Bowling Team as they captured a sixth place finish at the recent State Tournament.  Let’s continue to cheer on the swimmers, wrestlers, and basketball players!! 

    And so, I will end with; “Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don't have the strength.” -- Theodore Roosevelt

    Go Wolves !!

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 2/5/2015

    Hello team South Kitsap,

    Well, it looks like another six weeks of winter.  Groundhog Day is a time of wonderment as science intersects with folklore; who is to say where the expertise lies and how often has the Groundhog been correct? Groundhog Day 2015: Punxsutawney Phil sees shadow, predicts six more weeks of winter  time will tell; only the groundhog knows;>)

    Our strategic planning initiative kicked off the public engagement phase last week with the activation of the Thoughtexchange process.  The Thoughtexchange process is an opportunity for our parents, staff, students, and community members to share their perspective about our schools. Please visit and share this link before the end of day Friday, February 6, : http://skitsap.thoughtexchange.com/invitation and be part of the discussion as we consider tomorrow today and plan our future together. 

    With regard to the Imagine the Possibilities event held last Saturday, we had a great turnout with close to 300 people attending.  There was a nice mix of community members, staff, students and parents in attendance.  Many great ideas were shared and will continue to be discussed in the coming weeks.  We had an opportunity to view the recent video link from Sir Kenneth Robinson https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7MsevbI8LosbldIYU9oaUtEOWs/view and engaged in robust discourse.  A preliminary data set summary from the day is assisting us in formulating next steps in our thinking and planning process. 

    On Monday, enrollment opened for the 2015-16 school year! Along with the new registration season, we are also launching a new web-based pre-registration system to streamline the process. Parents will be welcomed by Reggie Z. (designed by our own Noah Andrews, a student in Mrs. Duttry’s SKHS graphics arts class) who will guide them through the questions and forms needed to get their student registered for school. You can visit Reggie Z. at his new home on the district enrollment web site -- http://www.skitsap.wednet.edu/enrollment  Parents will still finish up registration by visiting the office, but the online pre-registration will save time during their visit to the school. Speaking of the office ~ special thanks to our office teams who have been very busy learning the new pre-registration system and are now processing all of those new registrations from eager parents! Also, a special thanks to our intrepid IT Department staff who have done such a nice job heading up this initiative.  Within the first four days we've already had over 25 online pre-registrations!  We will continue to be resolutely committed to reaching out to all families – no exceptions. 

    Tonight, the focus of the Boundary Review Committee is the charge of balancing elementary enrollment.  The committee will be presented with information regarding the district’s open enrollment policy, the concept of a student assignment structure and with three possible options for balancing enrollment in our elementary schools.  Attached is the agenda for tonight’s meeting.  Next week, February 12, the committee will be presented with information regarding the instructional rationale for looking at grade reconfiguration and will also be presented with a couple of options for the use of grade configuration as a means for balancing enrollment.

    I want to note that this past week the Board reviewed the December financial report and we continue to look healthy at this time of the year as the budget is tracking well with projections.  As promised, I will continue to provide these monthly reports in my memo so that we can all track the budget progress throughout the year.  If you have questions on the interpretation of this chart, please do not hesitate to contact me.  As we now know how the current year budget is tracking, we will be evaluating additional supports necessary in the schools to maintain the high expectations we are all committed to for each of our students – no exceptions.  Our January enrollment report continues to trend better than budget and better than last year.  This is also a sign of stability for us as a district. 

    Finally, Jimmy Fallon has nothing on our own South Kitsap Improv Group.  The South Kitsap High School Acting Ensemble has challenged Jimmy Fallon to an improv off. The SK Ensemble is asking everyone to contact Jimmy Fallon over social media to see if he will meet the challenge.  We are so proud to have such talented young people and staff.   See their challenge video here  We are so proud of our district commitment to the fine and performing arts and continue to be resolutely committed to excellence in all aspects of performance.  Further, we recognize the disciplined efforts required to achieve this excellence and applaud the work these young people and staff have contributed. 

    Game on Mr. Fallon !! 

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 1/28/2015

    What a great week of planning and expectation.  I do not recall specifically who said that prior planning prevents poor performance; but, whoever said it has to be sure that the Seahawks are living it these last two weeks.  For sure, our South Kitsap High School students are ready for the big game and have a prediction they are not shy about sharing with us http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPtpHAV0T9w

     A big shout out to our Transportation Staff Team.  On Monday evening, we had an extremely serious medical emergency at our transportation department and three of our bus drivers, Sandy Erickson, Loretta Mehs and Jim Westermann took immediate action.  These heroic drivers performed CPR and administered the AED unit until the South Kitsap Fire and Rescue crews arrived on scene, thereby saving the life of one of our bus drivers.  Pam Roland, our Assistant Transportation Director, and our Transportation Department Router, Monica Mulligan both responded swiftly as well and contacted 911 and maintaining communications within the department, with emergency services and the district office.   Transportation Director Jay Rosapepe, commented; "It’s very gratifying that the training everyone has received has had such a positive result.  The professionalism that transportation employees demonstrated is commendable in all respects." We are so blessed to have such competent, generous, and compassionate staff family members.  Well done!!

    We have certainly had an eventful week. Our strategic planning initiative kicked off the public engagement phase this week with the activation of the Thoughtexchange process on Monday.  The Thoughtexchange process is an opportunity for our parents, staff, students, and community members to share their perspective about our schools. Please visit and share this link: http://skitsap.thoughtexchange.com/invitation and be part of the discussion as we consider tomorrow today and plan our future together.

    The Imagine the Possibilities event at Marcus Whitman Junior High on January 31, from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm is another opportunity to participate in the planning discussion. Both Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Boeing will have representatives present to discuss how the world is changing.  Please RSVP as soon as possible to millera@skitsap.wednet.edu or 360-874-7005.  We currently have 264 confirmed participants and will limit the event to 300. 

    The Boundary Review Committee will have its second meeting tonight at 6:00 pm in the library at John Sedgwick Junior High.  The focus of tonight’s meeting is “magnet” and centralized instructional programs.  Committee members will be provided information on a variety of programs that can have enrollment and facility capacity implications.  At its meeting next week (February 5), the Boundary Review Committee will review and discuss options for one of the committee’s purposes which is to address the issue of enrollment imbalance at the elementary level as some of our elementary schools are over capacity while others are under capacity.  I also want to quell any rumors about grade level moves for the coming year.  I have been asked several times about rather or not we are moving the sixth grade to the junior highs or the ninth grade to the high school for the coming year.  I want to clearly state that we will not be moving the sixth grade or the ninth grade for the 2015-16 school year.  Any move of this magnitude would only be undertaken with the utmost care and planning. As educators, we recognize that these are not just grade configurations; they are educational program designs and therefore require care and planning to support the best possible teaching and learning environment for all involved. 

    I want to confirm the next two elementary schools that will be adding free all-day kindergarten in the fall of 2015.   As you might recall, last March, I shared a memo outlining the implementation plan for all-day kindergarten in the South Kitsap School District.  Based on the current free and reduced lunch percentage data available to us, the next two schools to be added to the free all-day kindergarten program plan are Manchester Elementary and Hidden Creek Elementary.  Accordingly, if the State comes through with additional targeted funding for all-day kindergarten, we will be able to consider accelerating the implementation of this program for our children.    

    Wow, what a great article on the Discovery students and the local salmon project.  Jerry Polley’s class continues to do amazing work with this important environmental topic.  Please take a moment and learn more about it http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/local-news/students-release-thousands-of-salmon-in-restored-stream_64423924 .

    This week, our school principals are involved in a professional development activity that is job embedded and designed to support their work in the realm of educational leadership with a primary focus on effective strategies for supportive teacher evaluation work.  With the new TPEP expectations in our state, both teachers and principals are expected to have professional development that support these new statewide targets.  A big thank you to the staff at Orchard Heights Elementary, Mullenix Ridge Elementary and Marcus Whitman Junior High as they have hosted our principal teams doing this work over the course of the week.  Love the learning…

    I received this article from a staff person at the high school and loved it.  As this is the season, I thought I would share it with you and trust you will find it as provocative as I find it https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-seahawks-can-teach-us-education-chris-mccrummen  The ideas of authentic feedback continue to be research based and productive for supportive accountable communities. 

    Go Hawks and have a great rest of the week.

    Warmest regards,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 1/22/2015

    January is certainly marching forward with all the excitement winter weather brings.  And what about those Seahawks!!  There is such an excitement and buzz about the upcoming Super Bowl.  Pete Carroll is often heard to say, “Those that work harder and longer generally win the game. It’s all about that ‘finish’ mindset. You've got to finish right if you want to be champions.”  That certainly described the recent win and not surprisingly also the hard work each of you are doing on a daily basis to support our students in this great district.  Thank you. 

    We had a staff presence at the Naval Base Kitsap Kindergarten Fair earlier this week.  Roscoe and staff welcomed military families and their children as the season of kindergarten registration is now upon us.  Connected to this topic, a determination of which two elementary schools that are up next for free all-day kindergarten will be made on February 1.  We continue to hope that the legislature will view this early education initiative as a priority and fully fund all-day kindergarten for all. 

    I want to note that this past week the Board reviewed the November financial report and we continue to look healthy at this time of the year as the budget is tracking well with projections.  As promised, I will continue to provide these monthly reports in my memo so that we can all track the budget progress throughout the year.  If you have questions on the interpretation of this chart, please do not hesitate to contact me.  As we now know how the current year budget is tracking, we will be evaluating additional supports necessary in the schools to maintain the high expectations we are all committed to for each of our students – no exceptions.  Our January enrollment report continues to trend better than budget and better than last year.  This is also a sign of stability for us as a district. 

    A reminder that you are invited to attend a Community Event with community leaders, staff, parents, and students.  We are holding this event at Marcus Whitman JH on Saturday, January 31, 2015 from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm.  We are providing a light breakfast and lunch as well as childcare.  Many thanks to the local YMCA for providing this service at no charge for this important event.  This event is extremely important as we will be charting our 2020 Plan with the community.  This strategic plan will then drive our resources for the next several years.  I look forward to seeing you there.   Also, In the coming week, we will be launching an on-line component of our strategic planning process.  We are working with Thoughtexchange, which is an on-line service provider that supports strategic planning processes and other community, staff and student engagement processes.  The following video link is helpful in seeing how other districts have used this provider: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zooCJgAyms  I am excited about the possibilities.  This approach provides an authentic engagement process focused on listening to the ideas and thoughts you have so that we might chart the best possible 2020 path for our district.  In moving forward to meeting the needs of the 21st Century Whole Child, it will take all our best thinking and ideas. 

    As we continue to move forward with Innovative Program ideas, I continue to receive interesting video material from staff.  This video link Carol Dweck: The power of believing that you can improve deals with the topic of mindset and the concept of the importance of effective effort on the part of students as well as the expectations we as educators hold for our students.  This is a powerful concept.  I also recently read an interesting idea from the NY Times, Helping the Poor in Education: The Power of a Simple Nudge  ; another provocative school support idea.  More often than not; it is the small things we do and the  exquisitely simple ideas that pack the most power in getting results for young people.  There are so many ways in which we show we care… 

    Last Thursday, January 15, the Boundary Review Committee had its first meeting with the parent representatives and reviewed the charge for their work this spring.  Each school in the district is represented by two parents and the principal. The committee adopted participation norms and were provided with information from the district’s Elementary Enrollment Capacity Study and from the district’s Enrollment Study.  The committee also received open enrollment information for each elementary school. The Boundary Review Committee’s next meeting is Thursday, January 29 from 6:00pm – 7:30pm at John Sedgwick Jr. High.  The public is welcome to come and observe the process and provide written comments or questions that will be shared with the committee.    

    As the Long Range Capital Facilities Committee continues its work to map out a thirty year capital facilities plan, Mr. Bill Coon, the SW WA Regional Coordinator for the OSPI division of School Facilities & Organization, visited the group and shared our district specific school construction matching money scenarios.  Interestingly, every square foot of school building space in the district is eligible for state matching construction monies due to the length of time since we have done any construction in the district.  Mr. Coon remarked on the rarity of this scenario and indicates it also presents great opportunities for us as a district and community. 

    We had another amazing South Kitsap teacher as the Kitsap Sun teacher spotlight of Ryan Manning from Mullenix .  We are so proud of the work of Mr. Manning and the many amazing and hardworking teachers in this proud district.  Well done. 

    Go Hawks!!

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 1/15/2015

    What a great week, so full of anticipation.  Students are back into the routine and there is a great deal of energy in the classrooms all across the district.  I have really enjoyed my Breakfast Club and school visits to Marcus Whitman Junior High and John Sedgwick Junior High these past two weeks.  We have such amazing students and staff. 

     

    What a great play the Sidney Glen students put on last night and tonight as well.  The Harlequin Princess is a lively and entertaining play with an abundance of talent and excitement.  I also appreciate the Director, Mr. Scott Hopkins, and his wit.  This clip from the play describes a strategic planning process of sorts.  It is a nice reminder of how important such a process is to the organization (pack) and its future.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klCTLySpFPQ This play production is also such a nice example of how important team work is in the successful project based learning for our students.  It matters!! 

     

    And so, just as the wolf pack in last night’s play recognized the importance of strategic planning to address their meal planning challenges; so too, our district is working on our strategic plan.  Please know that each of you are invited to attend a Community Event with community leaders, staff, parents, and students.  We are holding this event at Marcus Whitman Junior High on Saturday, January 31, 2015 from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm.  We are providing a light breakfast and lunch as well as childcare.  Many thanks to the local YMCA for providing this service at no charge for this important event.  This event is extremely important as we will be charting our 2020 Plan with the community.  This strategic plan will then drive our resources for the next several years.  I look forward to seeing you there. 

     

    Have you observed a colleague, student, parent, volunteer or community member exhibiting the characteristics of the South Kitsap School District Vision: Nurturing Growth, Inspiring Achievement, Building Community? If so, please consider nominating him/her for a NIB award. Please submit your nomination to the Educational Services Department.  The deadline for submitting NIB nominations for the February 3 Board Meeting is Friday, January 23. (Please note that this is an extension of the normal deadline of the third Friday of the month.) Reminder: If you are nominating someone who is not an employee of the South Kitsap School District, a current email address is required.  Nominate a NIB

     

    As many of you know, Kelly Griebel has announced she is planning to leave the district effective the end of the month to spend more time with her family.  We are so appreciative of the many years and hard work Ms. Griebel has provided the school district. We are a better district for her efforts, hard work and dedication.  Because of the timing of Kelly’s resignation and upcoming audit and financial budget planning needs, I have decided to forego a more formal process to search for her replacement.  Instead, I am choosing to simply appoint someone who we have recently interviewed and previously vetted for a leadership position in the Business Services Department.  Please join me in welcoming Ms. Annette Baker to our South Kitsap Team as our new Director of Business Services.  Annette Baker is a graduate of Central Washington University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.  Annette has been working in the business services side of public education for the past nine years.  Most recently, she has served as the Budget Manager for Seattle Public Schools.   Prior to her work in school finance, Annette was a manager of Network Planning for Alaska Airlines.  She has a wealth of experience in both budgeting and accounting departments and incredible fiscal management skills.   We welcome her to the South Kitsap family. 

     

    A reminder that this coming Monday is the observance and celebration of the birth, the life and the dream of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Our local NJROTC is planning to observe the day as “A day on NOT a day off”.  To that end, they are doing several public service projects around the community.  Dr. King once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’”  Our young people continue to be such a great example of community service.  Thank you. 

     

    Warmest regards,    

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 1/8/2015

    Happy New Year!!  I trust each of you enjoyed a blessed and joyful holiday break with family and friends.  Winter is such a great season, so full of promise…

     

    At the Board meeting this past week, ESD Superintendent Greg Lynch presented plaques and banners to two of our schools, Burley Glenwood and Sidney Glen, as they were recognized formally as schools of distinction.  Executive Limitation 2 (EL 2) was revised as district administrative staff changes have taken place effective this week.  This ensures the smooth succession transition should that ever become necessary, thereby supporting stability in the district.  It is also School Board Recognition Month as proclaimed by Governor Jay Inslee.  Please join me in thanking our remarkable School Board for their tireless contributions to supporting education in our district. 

     

    Among our family of amazing South Kitsap School District teachers, several more have been in the spotlight. The Kitsap Sun featured Darlene Strobis from Sunnyslope on December 15.  Ms. Strobis continues to make such a difference for her third graders.  Another Kitsap Sun Teacher spotlight is on Paula Owen from Cedar Heights.  Ms. Owen continues to inspire, challenge, and support her junior high students.  Well done Darlene and Paula, you are both making a difference for all children – no exceptions. 

     

    With regard to the continuing district boundary work, each school has identified two parents to join the School Boundary Realignment Committee.  The first meeting of this enhanced group is next Thursday, January 15 from 6:00pm – 7:30pm in the commons at John Sedgwick Jr. High.  Please note that this is a change in location. At this first meeting committee members will review district enrollment,  school capacity data and instructional program locations. The public is welcome to attend. 

     

    If you are a TRS Plan 3 member, there is a very important meeting coming up for you on Thursday, January 15th, at 5:00 pm at the East Port Orchard Elementary School library.   If you're a TRS Plan 3 member, you may have taken advantage of the annual January rate change period to adjust your defined contribution percentage in the past. Due to conditions of the recent IRS re-qualification of TRS Plan 3, January 2015 is the last time you will have this opportunity to change your rate without changing employers.  Both SKEA President John Richardson and SKSD Assistant Superintendent Misty Dieffenbach encourage you to attend if you are affected by this rule. 

     

    I want to take this opportunity to again welcome Dr. Bev Cheney as she will be serving as our interim assistant superintendent for the remainder of the current school year on a flex schedule.  I am thrilled that she is going to share her expertise with us and know that we will benefit from her experience.  As the spring unfolds, we will be looking at a new structure for the Education Services, Teaching and Learning, Special Programs, etc. part of the district.  I will be bringing someone in to provide a study of this work and possible organizational structures for the most efficient and effective structure for us here.  I will then be seating a small committee of SKSD administrative and teaching staff to ‘vet’ the structure for us.  I will plan to post the identified resultant administrative openings later this spring.  In another Teaching and Learning Department adjustment, I have asked Ms. Anita Chandler, Mullenix Ridge Elementary Principal, to assume the leadership of the district-wide ELA Committee (she accepted ;>).  And so, in addition to her other duties, Shannon Thompson is focusing on special program compliance and the District Math Committee as well as coordinating other district committees during the spring.  I so appreciate the team approach we continue to exemplify.  It takes all of us to continue to support this great district. 

     

    In the next couple of weeks, we will be launching an on-line component of our strategic planning process.  We are working with Thoughtexchange, which is an on-line service provider that supports strategic planning processes and other community, staff and student engagement processes.  The following video link is helpful in seeing how other districts have used this provider: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zooCJgAyms  I am excited about the possibilities.  This approach provides an authentic engagement process focused on listening to the ideas and thoughts you have so that we might chart the best possible 2020 path for our district.  In moving forward to meeting the needs of the 21st Century Whole Child, it will take all our best thinking and ideas.  Please also consider marking your calendars for Saturday, January 31, as we will be meeting as a community at Marcus Whitman Junior High from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm in a more traditional community school forum as we seek our best path forward as a district. 

     

    I want to close my memo this week by acknowledging our district is no stranger to adversity, be it private or public.  The recent lawsuit brought against our district is such an example.  These false and inflammatory allegations against our hard working and dedicated staff are not to be tolerated.  I want to state categorically that we have outstanding staff in this district who work hard every day (and long days at that) to support the success of all students – no exceptions.  These allegations are very hurtful to staff members; particularly as they have done nothing wrong.  Whether or not a situation involves a legal entanglement or an athletic program dilemma, we must be able to manage disagreements in a civil and respectful manner.  At a time when it is so easy to throw out false statements and allegations -- which then often take on lives of their own; it is time to stop and be cognizant that these are real people, with real families and real reputations, who do not deserve this negative attention.  As a district and community, we continue to be mindful that our children are watching not how we say we manage conflict; but, rather how we really do manage conflict.  We are after all, the teachers for so many important lifelong habits. As a district, I am confident we will continue to gain strength from each adversity we successfully meet.  That is how a family works.   

     

    Warmest regards, 

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 12/18/2014

    Hello Team South Kitsap,

     

    It is the week before Christmas and all through the district many creatures are stirring and the excitement is contagious.  It is such a beautiful time of the year with such a generous spirit abounding.  I recently received a holiday note that reminded me that; “This season represents tenderness for the past, courage for the present, and hope for the future.” There are so many examples of our students and staff going above and beyond to support those less fortunate in our community this holiday season.  This speaks so highly of the character and grace abundant in our great district. 

     

    Across the community, over 200 families were adopted as a result of the generosity of our students and staff.  Several thousand food items, gift cards, gas cards, pet food items and toys were collected at schools and departments all across the district and distributed to local families in our community.  The Food and Nutrition Services Community Relations staff group hosted a birthday party for a student who has not had his birthday acknowledged for 4 years (since his mother passed). The only thing he wanted for Christmas was a birthday cake.  The high school students Future Farmers of America combined efforts with other local chapters and collected stocking stuffers and assembled 40 Christmas stockings for soldiers.  It takes all of us to make a difference and characterizes the ‘family attitude’ so endemic to our focus here in the district. 

     

    It is that time of year when we are turning our attention to planning for the 2015-16 school year and beginning our budget and enrollment projections.  We are doing these early so that we can make any necessary adjustments well in time as we maintain open communication and institutional stability.  This is an important disciplined practice as prior planning does prevent poor performance…  I am including our most current demographic enrollment projections as I would like to have some feedback from you as to your thoughts on rather I should set our enrollment projections at the most conservative or least conservative projections.  This report documents Head Count enrollment projections for the period 2015 – 2020.  On page three you will find the overall projections by grade span. These will be used in our Capital Facilities Plan. There is a slight decline projected in enrollment in 2015, a stable 2016, and a trend of growth that will begin in 2017.  K-6 growth is expected to be fairly strong over the next six years with an increase of roughly 600 students. Over the same period of time enrollment at the secondary level is projected to decline by nearly 400 students. Overall, student enrollment is projected to increase by 211 over the next six years.   Again, these are simply projections and represent the ‘best guess’ we have at this time. 

     

    As you might recall, we have at times overshot and at other times undershot our enrollment projections and both scenarios have negative consequences.   Our demographer has not completed his final projections for AAFTE for next year but will be providing them to us soon. Currently his model is projecting the following for the 2015-16 school year: High: 9209.0; Low: 8786.1; BEST:  8947.8.  As you are out in the community, and know this community better than I, I would be interested in your thoughts as to rather or not you see more movement into the district v. movement out of the district.  We know there are a number of new homes being both planned and built; but, you never know how many children might occupy them.  As you know, this is a critical decision I must make, as the enrolment becomes the revenue driver upon which our budget and staffing is based.  Thank you for your assistance with this, I really appreciate it. 

     

    Like you, I share the excitement of our students in the fine and performing arts areas.  Particularly at this time of the year, we recognize how much richer our holiday experience is with the music, drama, and arts displays that are so abundant.  I want to share our arts participation numbers here in the district as I found them to be quite interesting.  We are a better district for our fine and performing arts experiences.  One might also argue, we are a better country for our preservation of the fine and performing arts.  At the elementary level, our participation continues to be strong as do our overall district numbers and those at the high school.  We are endeavoring to continue to build on the traditions of our strong fine and performing arts roots here in the district.  This is an important component of our Whole Child approach. 

     

    In remembering our fine and performing arts programs, and the many hours of time our talented staff in these content areas put in with students, I would encourage you to read the article recently done spotlighting our very own Gary Grams http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/teacher-spotlight-gary-grams-south-kitsap-high-school_88059740  I know that in recently speaking to a number of band students, they were very clear with me that Mr. Grams epitomizes the mantra of high expectations and high support. 

     

    Many have noted the following; “This is my wish for you: peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays!” What a joyful wish to come true for each of you… 

     

    Warm wishes for a blessed and joyful holiday season,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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  • Thursday Memo

    Posted by Michelle Reid at 12/11/2014
    Wow, what a week.  As I write this, the wind is beginning to pick up and it seems as though the weather is a bit feisty out there.  With the trees dancing and the rain coming down in sheets, it appears to be a bit of a dark and stormy night…However, though dark and stormy the night, it could not keep Santa Claus from visiting EPO.  Ms. Katie Olson, music instructor at EPO, and her first and second graders, presented a fabulous play this evening to a packed house.  The ever intrepid Ms. Susan Petersen, a first grade teacher of 46 years, was seen assisting the ‘jack in the box’, with his role as the first graders were not sure what a jack in the box was ?? ;>)  It is such a blessing to see the joy of the children at this time of the year and we all so appreciate the hard work on the part of the staff and volunteers that make these nights and events possible.  Thank you to all those around the district assisting in these productions.  Well done. 

     

    I want to share that a member of our staff family has decided to retire.  Dave Colombini has decided to retire effective January 1 so that he might spend more time with his family.  Dave has had a long and distinguished career in education beginning in 1978.  Dave has worked in three school districts; Quilcene, Peninsula and the bulk of his time (thirty plus years) here in the South Kitsap School District.  Dave has been a mentor, friend, and inspiring leader to many students and staff over the years. We are a better district for his dedicated work and efforts over these many years.  I know you will join me in thanking Dave for his unflagging support and dedication to our district. 

     

    It has been a great week of coding for many of our students.  The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries.  Computers are everywhere, but fewer schools teach computer science than 10 years ago. Good news is, we’re on our way to change this. If you heard about the Hour of Code last year, you might know it made history. In one week, 15 million students tried computer science!  We have had a number of students earning certificates for their hour of coding work.  The website if you would like more information on this event is www.code.org .  So far, we have had well over a thousand students in the district participating in this event.  I will have more final numbers next week.  Thank you so much to our Career and Technical (CTE) staff district wide for leading this critical work in our district.  It matters. 

     

    On December 5th, staff, students and parents celebrated the 31 years of employment and service of Sandra MacDiarmid to the South Kitsap School District.  Sandy began her career at Burley Glenwood Elementary school where she served in the Library, supervised the playground and worked in the office as part of the clerical staff.  She then made her move to Explorer Academy where she has spent the last 14 years as the Office coordinator and has become a fixture there providing flexibility and alternative opportunities for families in our school district became her passion.  Staff and students shared many memorable moments about the impact Sandy has had on them as either a colleague, mentor of students, a friend and even as a grandmother.  Thank you so much for your many years of service and dedication to the South Kitsap School District. 

     

    We had another staff member in the news, this time a South Colby Bobcat, Mr. Steve Kaio-Maddox; please take a look at the link and celebrate another great South Kitsap School District teacher.  http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/local-news/teacher-spotlight-steve-kaiomaddox-south-colby-elementary_56965780  Thank you Steve. 

     

    Great start to our boys’ and girls’ basketball teams as they have big home wins this past week.  Go Wolves!  I also want to give a shout out to our NJROTC Precision Marksmanship Team that finished in the number 1 spot for NJROTC Area 13 during this year's Secretary of the Navy Postal Marksmanship Competition.  This will automatically qualify the team to compete at the regional competition in Phoenix, AZ in February.  Additionally, the team competed in the Junior Olympics qualifier last Saturday in Olympia.  Results are pending for that competition. CAPT Todd Schapler, USN (Ret), the Senior Naval Science Instructor at the high school, believes the SKHS Precision Marksmanship Team will continue to represent South Kitsap well wherever they compete.  We agree and are so proud of these young men and women.  Go Wolves!

     

    I want to take a moment and thank all of the teachers who recently participated in the SKEA survey.  I have had an opportunity to review the results with John and T. Michael and really appreciate the time and effort you have made to share your concerns.  I know that together we can work to improve our teaching and learning environment.  We also discussed the survey and its results at our monthly principal meeting this afternoon and I believe are coming up with some strategies to better support the classroom and teachers in our district.  We are listening and will be responsive.  More to come on this topic after the new year.  Thank you. 

     

    As the lights in the district office are now flickering (and the wind is howling) I think it best to scoot on home.  I trust all of you will have a safe and warm evening and that the storm will abate soon. 

     

    Warmest regards,

     

    Michelle Reid, Ed.D.

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